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The Stone Roses - V Festival Hylands Park 2012 review

'This is what the fuss was about'

Photographer:Mark Holloway

Chris Eustace - 19 August 2012

This is the Roses' biggest gig in the southern half of England since half of the quartet finally put their name to bed after an infamously terrible show at Reading '96. For those of us who've only encountered them through video clips of that gig - this is what the fuss was about. For the diehards, it's a real 'told you so' moment. Initial Ian Brown tuning issues aside, 'I Wanna Be Adored' is the perfect opener, acting as the band's mission statement as it builds and builds.

Brown proudly shows off his coat, adorned with the artwork from the band's first album, and he begins to resemble the hushed soothsayer from the records a lot more on 'Mersey Paradise' and 'Sally Cinnamon', while it's a privilege to hear the trademark bendy bass and choppy guitar of 'Fool's Gold' live . The lengthy jam at the song's end, followed by a similarly noodly 'Something's Burning' tests the patience of the crowd, and it's worth noting that there were less gaps in the audience for Arctic Monkeys here last year, the band not helped by Ed Sheeran headlining the Arena tent at the same time. Let's hop our loop pedal-toting friend can one day write something as brilliantly poignant as 'Waterfall', on which Reni emerges as the star of the show, with his propulsive drumming and on-point backing vocals underpinning everything.

The whole band sounds fantastic for the most part - but it's their drummer that prevents the slightly anachronistic instrumental breaks from grating too much. While a down-tuned 'This Is The One' loses some of it's euphoria, there's all that and then some in a re-energised 'She Bangs The Drums', with bright red flares lit in the audience to emphasise the celebrations. The Roses can do better than that though, with 'I Am The Resurrection' and it's mind-boggling coda giving way to a huge fireworks display as Bob Marley's 'Redemption Song' plays over the speakers. Any doubts over a new album can wait, tonight it's all about the chance to hear these songs come to life once more.

Stone Roses V Festival, Chelmsford setlist

I Wanna Be Adored
Mersey Paradise
(Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister
Sally Cinnamon
Ten Storey Love Song
Where Angels Play
Shoot You Down
Fools Gold
Something's Burning
Waterfall
Don't Stop
This Is the One
Love Spreads
Made Of Stone
She Bangs The Drums
I Am The Resurrection


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